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AR Rahman


No Symphony: AR Rahman’s Concert In Chennai Turns Into A Nightmare Stampede

AR Rahman, the slumdog millionaire and Oscar holder dreamt of a grand music concert, planning to belt out his immortal songs in Tamil to delight a mammoth crowd. Passionately he named the concert Marakkuma Nenjam(will this heart forget). Sure enough the 50,000 odd crowd that pushed into the venue which could accommodate just 20,000 ticket holders swear they would never forget the stampede, women and kids screaming in alarm, people pushing their way through and genuine ticket holders of Rs 5000 left high and dry, unable to get to their assigned seats. The blame game is in full swing…most blame the organisers ACTC events who seemed to have only focused on raking in the money at any cost. The sound system was so poor that even those near the stage could not hear much. People in the know are putting the onus squarely on the maestro himself for trusting an event organiser like ACTC. Incidentally, the maestro himself was grounded in the traffic grid near the venue. The negative publicity saw Rahman tweeting, “Dearest Chennai Makkale, those of you who purchased tickets and weren’t able to enter owing to unfortunate circumstances, please do share a copy of your ticket purchase to along with your grievances. Our team will respond asap.” Will this tweet be music to the ears of Rahman’s fans? Not really.
Jagan arrest

Chandrababu Naidu’s Arrest: A Game Changer In Andhra Pradesh Power Balance?

Much as the ruling party, Jagan Mohan’s YSR Congress wanted to make former Andhra Pradesh chief minister’s crack of dawn arrest look like a logical move to punish him for corruption in the Skill Development case, the TDP leaders and political analysts are convinced that this whole thing was planned and executed to coincide with AP chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s sojourn in the US. Even as he was remanded to 14-day judicial custody, Andhra erupted into angry protests by TDP cadres who also called for bandh. Actress Roja the firebrand YSR Congress distributed sweets celebrating Babu’s arrest. Not that Naidu has the image of an unsullied political saint ….after his election loss, he has been fighting a running battle with YSR, trying to cadge favours from the BJP, and simultaneously trying his luck for Congress support — classic case of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. Is Jagan’s intent to make him an untouchable for the BJP? The I.N.D.I.A bloc has immediately condemned the arrest and professed their sympathy. Telugu star and JanaSena Party founder Pawan Kalyan showing his solidarity to Naidu protested by sleeping on the road as he was denied entry into Andhra. AP is on high alert as TDP cadres are baying for blood, it could turn violent. The moot point is will BJP align with Naidu’s party after such negative publicity?
Thani Oruvan

Sequel Fever: AGS Entertainment Gets Ready For ‘Thani Oruvan 2’ With Jayam Ravi

The sustained box office and artistic success of Southern films is not just about strong story lines, brilliant directors, tight budgets, organised shooting schedules and artists who give value for what they earn. Southies know how to get the best ROI, even in remarkable budget films. Much of the credit goes to producers like AGS Entertainment founded in 2006 by three brothers — S Aghoram, S Ganesh, and S Suresh — which has consistently bankrolled good, wholesome and mostly family oriented themes. AGS Entertainment just announced their Thani Oruvan 2 to mark 8 years of the original hit movie that ran in cinemas for 50 days, grossed Rs 150 crore worldwide, with no carpet-bombing gimmickry or cooked books. What is even more remarkable, the sibling team of director Mohan Raja and Jayam Ravi, team up yet again for a seventh film in Thani Oruvan 2. Jayam Ravi is already riding high as a bankable artist, as gracefully as he rode a caparisoned elephant in both Ponniyin Selvans. He is Ponniyin Selvan, Mani Rathnam’s muse. Starting with Jayam, M Kumaran S/O of Mahalakshmi, Unakka Enakka , Santosh Subramaniam, Thillalangadi, Thani Oruvan 1 all back-to-back hits, and paisa vasool for film buffs. Jayam Ravi will play an IPS officer Mithran once again. Spoiler alert …could the antagonist go after the hero? Nayantara is his love light.
Rail Radhika

Radhika Sarathkumar, The Super Brand Of Tamil Films Turns 60

Radhika Sarathkumar chugged into the film scene in Bharathiraja’s Kizhakke Pogum Rail in 1978. Today, she is the Bullet train of Kollywood, trail blazing her way through over 200 films and Tamil mega serials that have spun money and enduring fame for this superb actor. Her very first film (ran for 365 days in theatres) and its success brought her the sobriquet Rail Radhika, and the SUN TV serial, Chithi made her the family icon of thousands of women who waited for the prime time slot of Chithi. Significantly, Radhika would have not aced any star test…she herself once acknowledged that she is a plain Jane, no sultry siren nor sexy screen sizzler. But she was the master of transformation to the character she played and the audience remembered her performance even in average films. Her only claim to fame at her debut was that she is the daughter of late MR Radha, a controversial and stormy petrel of Kollywood in his heydays. She went through three marriages, her second one to Prathap Pothan, actor-filmmaker. Finally she has found her anchor in actor Sarathkumar. Her vast experience in show biz motivated her to start her own company, Radaan Mediaworks which has produced a number of TV shows. Radhika still remains the iconic rail Radhika, a woman who scripted her life on her terms. Happy birthday Radhika.
EPS madurai

EPS: The Man Who Aspires To Be Another MGR!

AIADMK chief Edappadi K Palanisami (EPS) organised a mega event in Madurai on August 20. To draw crowds from all over Tamil Nadu, money was poured like ghee on the havan khund. A few party cadres say they were given tickets for Jailer, costing Rs 4,000 and exhorted to make it to Madurai at any cost. According to local intelligence, lakhs of ADMK?????(OR AIADMK) cadres…. came for the meet, to evaluate EPS and his crowd pulling ability vis a vis MGR and JJ. EPS smiled all the way through the meet, accepted piles of garlands and anointed himself Purathchi Thamizhar (revolutionary Tamilian) as prefixes. But deep down, EPS is acutely aware of the serious threats to his status and leadership. The BJP is playing a wily game of seemingly promoting EPS, knowing full well that at the right time they could up the ante and demand more seats in an alliance. BJP leader K Annamalai’s job is to needle EPS regularly just in case he acts tough in their shotgun marriage. Meanwhile, the troika of Sasikala, OPS, and TTV are baying at his heels, raking up every scandal including the shooting at late JJ’s Kodanadu estate. The option of merging his outfit AIADMK with BJP may have been attractive …till a savvy political leader told him, he would totally lose that Dravidam brand and leave the DMK the full arena to skate. Sleeping with the enemy brings its own dangers.
RNRavi_MKStalin flag

No Holds Barred Between Tamil Nadu Governor And Chief Minister

What Mantara and Shakuni wrought by diligently working on Kaikeyi and Duryodhana’s psyche in our epics is now quoted in Tamil Nadu. BJP leader K Annamalai’s faithfuls busy working overtime constantly citing the omissions and commissions of Governor RN Ravi. Even as the NEET bill assent is hanging in the balance of Raj Bhavan, the Governor hosted a tea meet to congratulate those who had passed the exam. The father of a student stood up to ask, “Sir, when are you signing this Bill?” Prompt came the response “If I had the authority, never.” On a recent tour of Thiruvannamalai, Governor Ravi went round the ultra holy Giri Valam path (lakhs circumambulate this hill on Poornimas) and said, non-veg food being served here must stop. Even as the Governor meets and greets the press, Annamalai has been quietly smouldering …there is talk that he has spoken about such matters to the top. Stories are doing the rounds that Annamalai is convinced that his walkathon has been seriously neutralised and marginalised by the Governor’s Raj Bhavan Durbar Hall. To add insult to injury, Stalin says let the Governor stay on till the Elections…he is our chief campaign mascot! An alternate Flag hoisting by Stalin at the Fort St, George, boycotting the Governor’s traditional ceremony clearly indicates that it is all out war in TN between the Governor and chief minister.

Rajini Reloaded: Jailer Sets Screen On Fire

Those who predicted another crash landing at the Box Office for superstar Rajini are now silently swallowing their dire forecast as Jailer has reportedly crossed the Rs 300 crore mark worldwide box office in the first five days of its release. Trade circles are predicting that it could overtake Kamal’s Vikram and Vijay’s Beast. Reportedly, Rajini has already worshipped at Badrinath temple — his Himalayan escape — a routine so familiar to him on the release of a new film. After the lukewarm response to his Darbar and Annathe, he must have vowed to make a serious course correction and reclaim his place as the superstar in the filmy firmament. What a course correction it turned out to be! SUN Pictures’ strategy of signing on brand each from Bollywood (Jackie Shroff), Mollywood (Mohanlal ) and Shiv Rajkumar from  Karnataka ensured that the legion of fans  from each region would watch Jailer for their chosen icon. Anirudh and his peppy music made magic out of Kaavallaa, a track that Tamannaah ensured would leave the audience gasping; an overdose of violence to elicit a cathartic release of anger and angst and a family-centered story where revenge overcomes all else. And not to forget the promo blitz and pre-release publicity barrage that super-hyped the star Rajini’s dialogue, “inimey pechu ille, veechu thaan” (no more talk, just hack). Love him or hate him, but you cannot ignore Thalaiva.
Annamalai padyatra

DMK Mocks Annamalai’s Padyatra After He Rushes To Delhi Midway

Just nine days into his much hyped Tamil Nadu padayatra from Rameswaram, BJP leader K Annamalai was summoned urgently to Delhi by party president JP Nadda. The DMK has been watching Annamalai’s yatra with some apprehension as the crowds buzzing around were significant. Old women hugged him, kids brought for show time, women complaining of inflation, gas cylinder prices and tomatoes squelching home budgets. From Gandhi’s Dandi March to Annamalai’s ‘En Mann, En Makkal’, such yatras have unfailingly drawn crowds for that curiosity factor. Any wonder that DMK chortled, “Pada Yatra is now Padi Yatra“(a half yatra in Tamil) as the protagonist had to rush to hear his master’s voice. BJP cadres are offering any number of reasons for the sudden summons from Delhi. Meanwhile, BJP’s alliance partner AIADMK’s Edapaddi K Palaniswami (EPS) has suddenly found his lost self-confidence after Modi gave him spotlight importance in Delhi. This has emboldened him to announce a protest march challenging DMK about the denial of Cauvery waters to save TN delta kuruvai crops. This may put Stalin on the back foot. What if EPS walks away with the kudos and bargaining power? It’s well known that Annamalai has a prickly equation with EPS. Maybe the BJP top brass want him to mend fences with EPS?
SRK anirudh

New Music Sensation From The South, Anirudh Ravichander

Even as Rajini’s Jailer opening song, Kaavaalaa has set the internet and fans on fire, Anirudh Ravichander, the music director is going places in just 11 years. After his notable success in South films, his very first song Vanda Idam he has created for Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan, to be released on September 7 in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu is expected to be a rage. The Hindi version of the song is titled “Zinda Banda“, apt for Anirudh whose music is now a rage in Kollywood, Bollywood. His infectious tunes are converted into visual treat videos that titillate and tease the senses. Tamannaah’s Kaavaalaa dance stoked collective frenzy. It helped that Tamanna and her Lust Stories 2 had already broken OTT records. Anirudh known as ‘single haddi’ when he came to films is fast turning into a music director of substance with successive hits. For added measure, this nephew of Rajinikanth is making more news in the industry. Director Shankar who journeyed with AR Rahman for over 20 years has now shifted his loyalty to Anirudh, signed him up for Indian 2.
MKStalin speech


Stalin Woos 30,000 DMK Cadres With 6000 Kg Mutton Biryani

It was a veritable gastronomic extravaganza where 30,000 DMK cadres gorged on mutton biryani and chicken served up in the training camp in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu. Evidently the BJP‘s meticulous training and planning for elections served as the template for Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin’s motivational thunder and lavish hospitality at this election stump. The alchemy of super delicious biryani and powerful oration was meant to galvanise the booth committee overseers of 15 constituencies. Being the birthplace of the party founder Kalaignar, the stump speech was generously peppered with claims and confidence to catch boosters like “naarpadhum namade, naadum namadhe” (40 seats are ours, the land is ours). He did not miss out on hitting out at the AIADMK for a “sell out of our land to the BJP”. Stalin seems to have imbibed a new josh from his self-perceived status as the originator of the Opposition unity, and is doing everything to rabble rouse and rake in the electorate’s trust. TN Minister KN Nehru said “You must all feel proud that our leader is motivating the entire Opposition to unseat the BJP.” Surely the DMK’s omnibus passenger, the Congress could feel challenged. Stalin has inherited his father’s fluency of wrapping up Dravidam in chaste Tamil oratory. The 2024 general election promises no holds barred fight to oust the north Hindi domination of the BJP with a frontal south emotional Dravidam clarion call.

Legendary Film Producer Who Launched Mega Stars Like Rajini, Kamal, Sridevi Dies A Pauper

A mere 14 people (that too his relatives) participated in the last rites of legendary film producer SA Rajkannu who was celebrated and feted sky high when 16 Vayadinule produced by him in 1977 under the banner Sri Amman Films was a super hit.  Kamal Haasan as the protagonist, chapani (the village idiot) is now Ulaga Nayakan. The late Sridevi as Mayilu (just 14 then) sizzled and skyrocketed to stardom post that film. And who can forget Rajnikanth’s Parattai, the negative role ruffian who confronts Kamal in this Tamil hit directed by Bharathiraja! The late MR Radha’s daughter, Radhika is even today known as Rail Radhika, a throwback to her debut film Kizhakke Pogum Rail. The multi-faceted artist Bhagyaraj was Rajkannu’s hero in Kanniparuvathile. But all these super marquee names of Kollywood forgot this man who gave them their debuts. Rajkannu spent the fag end of his life in a rented house, and died an unsung producer. His close family were hoping that these celebrities would at least turn up to pay their salaams on his final journey.  However, stars were content to tweet their sorrow. Clearly, filmdom and politics celebrate only success and status. Reminds one of Rajesh Khanna immortal dialogue, “Yeh duniya badi kuthi cheez hai. “


Technology Cannot Disrupt Original Content Provider: Short Post Editor

They say time flies. How true!  Today is our #SecondAnniversary. Two years back at the height of Covid-19 Pandemic when lockdown was the way of life we took a leap of faith and launched Short Post (Jan 28, 2021), the first-of-its-kind website in the country that focuses on Authentic Gossip. The Oxymoron is deliberate. Well, the response has been quite encouraging. That’s what has kept us going. Till date we have posted close to 2000 stories in the areas of Politics, Business, Entertainment and Sports. Each insightful story of around 225 words has been contributed by Senior Editors. There is a sense of satisfaction of creating a new segment in the market – authentic gossip — and in the process creating a brand (in a limited sense), creating demand (readers) and creating supply (writers). Well known advertisers — IDFC FIRST Bank, ICICI Lombard – supported us.  And that really boosted our confidence. Thank you!

So here we are raring to go.  But, when I look at the media landscape the disruption is indeed fast and furious. Technology is playing a very big role in how content will be consumed. In the past, we have seen how social media has disrupted the media world. Now, everybody is saying the same thing about ChatGPT. It has reached 1 million users in five days. Its scorching pace of growth is indeed frightening and will disrupt the media industry big time. My limited argument is can it do investigative stories, write gossip items using the digital world ecosystem. Unlikely. Clearly, the original content has to be created first — only then can ChatGPT do the magic. That’s what we promise to do – focus on original content.

Before I sign off, I am reminded of an old advertisement of the early sixties: “Avis is only No.2 in rent a cars. So we try harder”. Likewise I can say, we are two years old and we are trying even harder to be relevant to you readers.